We were moving my parents into assisted living, so the destruction done by the mere passage of time, was on my mind. I was still stunned and reeling from the changes in my parents, just in the couple of months since I'd seen them last. It was heartbreaking to see them like that, and terrifying to imagine going that way myself.
That can happen? Was it time to plan my preemptive suicide?
Meanwhile, our goal was to create a mini-version of my parent's house as quickly as possible so they'd sleep in a semi-familiar setting that first night, diminishing the confusion. Among the things being moved was a picture of me taken when I was in high school. It had hung in my parent's bedroom forever, so it would hang again.
My brother was in the new living room. I was around the corner unpacking the bedroom when I heard one of the movers say, "Whoa!" and make hubba-hubba noises.
Another one of them added his male appreciation grunts, and asked my brother, "Who's this?"
"It's her," my brother answered, indicating me.
A stunned silence fell. The silence of young brains confronting the cruel ravages of time. The awkward, lengthening, silence of troubled minds asking: "That can happen?"